The Homeless Guy

THE HOMELESS GUY

The shutters pulled down
he made his bed
cardboard first then
the sleeping bag
Saturday afternoons
he’s ignored by
the group of kids
outside McDonald’s
by the couple
with groceries
all totally oblivious
to the guy
In the shop entrance
hood up and head bowed
paper cup in hand.

Soon it starts to rain
but he never moves
the occasional
clink of coins
Into the cup
Is greeted with an
acknowledged nod
others stop a bit to chat
Crouched down
with offerings of
sandwiches & coffee.

I see this homeless guy
every day
on Saturdays he’s joined
by others
scattered around the town
but we don’t have
a homeless crisis
so they really don’t exist,
the situation isn’t real
as long as we don’t
stare at it or
look them in the eye
as we rush past guiltily.

The homeless guy
never moves
I wonder how
he can remain rooted
To the same spot?
Does he like football?
Is he from the town?
Or another country?
Is it drink or the drugs
that made him homeless?
A question most of us
will quickly ask
In judgemental thought.

Never mind
the mental issues
the broken marriage
or relationship issues
the way society
has discarded him
The depths of how
he’s fallen
completely abandoned
by modern society
by the Government
who can’t see
any homeless crisis.

A blight on a doorstep
another number
to the statistics
unknown
unnamed
unidentifiable ..

The seasons change
with the wind
rain, hail, snow and sun
but the homeless guy
remains the same
unmoving, head bowed
In the same dirty
black clothes.

No hope nor light
in his eyes
he sits on the
damp pavement
And waits for
God knows what?

an answer?
an end?
death?

As we walk on by
with our contented lives
our conflict within
of what we see
on the doorstep
in our town
every Saturday
afternoon is fleeting
then forgotten.

The homeless guy
Is an uncle
a brother
a father
a son.

The homeless guy
sighs desperately
as the cold winter rain
falls down and people
continue to walk on by
oblivious of this crisis
In our modern day society
our consciousness itself
is homeless.

by Robin McNamara © 2020

Published by robinmcpoet

Robin McNamara is an Irish poet with over 90 poems published worldwide. A regular contributor to Poetry Ireland poetry prompts. UCD Library have a selection of his pandemic poems in their archives as a record of poems written during this period. Robin’s debut chapbook is to be published with Hedgehog Poetry Press in early 2021.

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